I along with my friends had been to restaurant for having lunch one fine afternoon. It was a Saturday; so the restaurant was full. Thank God! We had reservations done already. Ladies get together is always noisy. We just had finished deciding who was going to have what; on meantime my sight felt on our nearby table. There were boys and girls; probably a lunch party on someone’s birthday. But all of them were busy with their mobile phones. Few were playing games with their partner who was also present there; while others were busy taking selfies and uploading them on their social media platforms. Among them I could hardly see any communication apart from mobiles; games or uploads talks. Slowly all my other friends started observing them. We got time till our food arrived; some 20 minutes. Our eyes were all fixed on them and what they were doing. We could see the manager approached them for several times to take order for food; but none of them showed any interest in placing the order. In few minutes the manger came and was showing his anger and asked those teenagers to either place their order for food or leave the restaurant. At that time they all realized; as the manager's voice was firm and loud.
We very silently observing each and every teen. Their faces were covered with consciousness and now they started looking around as to know who all were having their attention. Many eaters were busy with their own talk and food and even we ladies got our food on table so we just got busy with ours. But their was silence on my table now. I was wandering what had happened to my friends. Then slowly one started showing her concern about children getting addicted to gadgets more and more and how they have started ignoring other things. Other mothers also joined and one by one they were saying about their children’s addiction to gadgets and to some kind of wired habits. “wired habits? “ Right! One of my friend said her child has got to addicted to talk to her friend all the time. Her friend stays with her grandparents so she makes time to talk to her child throughout; and so her child always wants to talk to her friend. On someday; when she has to take her out to function or to some relative’s place; her child just doesn’t go with her. She cannot stay away from talking to her friend for more time. She has tried many ways but her child has become reluctant.
Other mother was saying about her child’s addiction to watching fashion and beauty channels and videos on mobile and other devices. She has become obsessed with her looks now. She has also started buying products by watching them on internet and also uses them on her at very young age and she has become so addicted that she refuses to be without makeup; even at home and at night. All the ladies at the table had issues with their children who were addicted to something or other. None of them were interested in food and they were seen stressed. I had to take a stand at that time. I told them all that we can find a solution for all their ordeals and get children out of their addictions before it gets late. But before that we had to finish our lunch and then we came to my place. I told them what made their children to get into addiction. They need to find the root cause and the duration since they got addicted.
I asked them all to make note of all the above mentioned things and go into past and recollect how it all started. Nobody was allowed to speak and say. They all needed to note it down. Then next they had to recollect and write was how they reacted and responded at very first time when they noticed that their children were giving more time to other things while ignoring most important things of their life; like their studies; their duties; and also their parent’s advice. Then it was time to make them realize what went wrong. Most common mistake every parent make is; initially they don’t take it seriously when their child gets attached to gadgets and other things. They think it’s very simple and small matter and they need not have to talk about it to their children. Next is they don’t give gadgets along with dos and don’ts. So the children doesn’t know their limits and time usage of gadgets. Next thing which parents ignore is getting their child more and more possessive for their gadgets. Other one is their eating habits changes as they get addicted. No time or proper schedule is followed. All of these are red flags which needs to be considered and look upon as serious matter. It could be solved at the initial stage itself if parents would have taken little more care.
Once they get addicted; it’s takes lots of efforts to de-addict them. But still there are ways. Some may get over it easily while some may need more time. Children need to put on certain restrictions once they found to be addicted. Initially they will not listen but parents needs to be firm and little strict. Next they need to fix schedule for everything and child has to follow. No strict punishments should be used. Instead child should be taken of their favorite things. Communicate with them about how their addictions are affecting their lives as well as yours. If the addictions are not severe then with all these mentioned things one can find improvement and if the addictions are severe then the child needs to be taken experts for help. Take your child for counselling.
Special educator; child and career counselor and parenting expert.
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